Manmohan invites Nawaz to India, BJP says 'too early'
Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (PML N), is touted to form the government in Pakistan and India is keen to kickstart the dialogue process. Prime ...
Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (PML N), is touted to form the government in Pakistan and India is keen to kickstart the dialogue process. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh congratulated Nawaz for his emphatic win in the elections and extended an invitation to visit the country. "The people of India welcome your publicly articulated commitment to a relationship between India and Pakistan that is defined by peace, friendship and cooperation. I look forward to working with you and your government", Mr Singh said. In New Delhi, the BJP has questioned the haste in extendeing the invitation. Balbir Punj of the BJP said today that, "the PM should have waited and seen if Pakistan's attitude towards India improved before inviting him (Mr Sharif) here. It doesn't make sense to call him even before he has been sworn in." The Pakistan media welcoming Dr Singh's statement, have also asked when the Indian Prime Minister will visit Pakistan. 63-year-old Nawaz Sharif had vowed during his campaign and also on the eve of the elections, to revive the India-Pakistan peace process which he began in 1999 with then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee of the BJP. Vajpayee had visited Pakistan in February 1999 and the two leaders had signed the Lahore Declaration on the development and use of nuclear weapons. Mr Sharif calls that a "historic moment" and said, "We have to bring back that time again." The peace moves however were interrupted later that year when Nawaz Sharif was overthrown by General Pervez Musharraf in a coup in October 1999. Months before that Pakistan's incursion into Kashmir provoked the Kargil war, fracturing bilateral ties. Mr Sharif was the PM during the Kargil conflict, but has repeatedly said that General Musharraf, the then Army chief, was solely responsible.